| || |The Berean Expositor
Volume 15 - Page 62 of 160 Index | Zoom | |
A | Hidden things renounced.
B | Walk in craftiness,
C | Handle Word of God deceitfully.
C | Truth manifested.
B | Commended to conscience.
A | In the sight of God.
The two sets are sufficiently obvious, and we commend them to our readers as a
commentary upon our subject. II Cor. 11: 3 gives the basic example, origin and energizer
of this craftiness:--
"The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty."
Behind the "sleight of men" is the "cunning craftiness" of the Devil:--
"Whereby they lie in wait to deceive" (Eph. 4: 14).
Aquila translates Exod. 21: 13 by methodeuse, but the word seems to mean more
generally a systematic artifice. Methodeia comes again in Eph. 6: 11, "the wiles of the
Devil". "Systematic deception", "snares of the cunning", "deliberate system of error",
"the systematizing of the deception", "a subtle method of deceit" are some of the many
translations offered. They impressed us with the thought that there is deliberate
systematic method pursued in this craftiness. Speaking of Satan, II Cor. 2: 11 says, "We
are not ignorant of his devices". He ever continues the same corruption of the Word of
truth, the flattery, the temptation, as in the Garden of Eden, and the instance recorded in
Luke 20:, till cast into the lake of fire. Shakespeare well puts it:--
"The equivocation of the fiend, that lies like truth."
So then we have the unity of the Spirit set over against the systems of deception, in
other words, the mystery of godliness and the mystery of iniquity, the truth and the lie.
The apostle has been saying what we are not to be; he now concludes by stating the
positive. One word suffices to give complete contrast to all the craft and deceit of the
Aletheuontes.--The word means more than "speaking the truth", it means "being
true". This has a fuller and deeper meaning than we may at first suppose, but as this is
dealt with by the apostle in the same chapter we will follow his own order and wait until
we reach the passage. We can see however the supreme place of truth in the witness for
God. It may not be amiss to exhibit the usage of "truth" in Ephesians:--